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“As In Heaven, So On Earth”

It is a grand thing for our souls, on the one hand, to be firmly established in the grace of God toward us, to allow no insinuation of the enemy to raise a question touching the efficacy of what the Lord Jesus has wrought for us—the fullness of redemption that is in Him. And, on the other hand, to use all the liberty, the comfort, the certainty of our Father’s love for our souls, as a reason for not sparing in us that which is contrary to Him. It is not only that we have the Lord Jesus for us, but we are in Him. What and who is He in whom we are? Is there a single fault that God finds with the Lord Jesus? Is there a conceivable blessedness that He does not find there?

Now, this is exactly what we want. Full of faults, without a single thing in us which the Father’s eye could regard with complacency and delight, He who has chosen to place us in the Lord Jesus before Himself, has been pleased to give us the knowledge of it. For it is not something done in a corner, or something mysterious and concealed from the knowledge of those to whom this exceeding grace is shown. The God who thought of such mercy has revealed it full, that we may not have one cloud in our souls, but the positive, absolute, unvarying certainty that we are in Christ Jesus.

We can look back at Adam, and see what we are by nature—not to speak of the bitter fruits all the way through our being. We can see him sinning and rebelling; we can see him covering his sin and throwing the blame upon his wife, and virtually on God Himself; we can see his pride and untruthfulness—for such is always the effect of sin naturally. Such is the flesh. But we are not in the flesh. By that wondrous work of the Lord Jesus, by death and resurrection, God has now a blessed way; and He has applied it to our souls, and given us the knowledge of it, that we are now regarded as what we were in Adam—we are now new creations in Christ Jesus.

Although there is that which reminds us of what we were—that old, abominable life and nature, which is not in the slightest degree changed by our having a new position; yet there is this priceless truth—that the more we enter into our position in the Lord Jesus, and appreciate Him to whom we belong, the less power our old man has to assert himself. Where we question the blessing, and doubt the grace, and hesitate about the reality of our relationship to the Lord Jesus in glory, all is weak and dim and uncertain.

There may be godliness; but it will always be godliness under the law—the effort after something in ourselves, instead of living upon what the Father has given us in the Lord Jesus, our Christian life. And although there may be a measure of separation from sin, yet there will be the danger of thinking something of ourselves because of it—the comparing ourselves with what we were, and thinking how much better we are, or comparing ourselves with other people, and thinking that we are not quite so bad. All this results from one tragic error—the constant tendency of man’s heart to think of himself and of what he may be to God, instead of thinking of Him who is the fullness of grace, and of what He is to us.

Still, there is full deliverance—a deliverance that will not be one whit better when we are taken out of this world and brought into heaven; for we are not a bit more forgiven in heaven, or more secure in heaven, or more precious to our Father in heaven, than we are now made on earth: for what gives us our preciousness and stamps our character before the Father, is something that He has given is in His Son while we are on earth. Hence, it is that departing from this life is merely a circumstance; the essence of the blessing is in the Lord Jesus, and we are in Him, and there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1).

—J G Bellett (1795-1864)

MJS devotional excerpt:

“Let us not feel that our task is done with the rebirth of a soul. The great burden of the Christian ministry should be that Christ may be formed in men, and that they, in turn, may be living witnesses to others. Notice Peter’s words: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people.’ But for what purpose has all this been accomplished? He goes on to say, ‘. . . that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light’ (1 Pet. 2:9). ‘But ye are...that ye should.’ We believe in Christ’s power and desire to win others, but for what? The whole purpose of salvation is that men and women may grow in the deeper stable characteristics of the Christian life—that they might be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.” -G.D.

“The Christian life is not merely a converted life nor even a consecrated life, but it is the Christ-life. It is the consuming desire of the Lord Jesus to reincarnate (be born in us—NC) Himself in the believer.” -R.P.

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